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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: scam

Attorney General warns of donation scam targeting Idaho non-profits

Idaho non-profits are being targeted in an overpayment scam, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden warns. Typically, the scammer makes a very large donation to the non-profit online, like $5,000, then contacts the organization to say the large donation was a mistake - intended, for example, to have been $500 - and asks for a refund of the difference. Non-profits taken in by the scam end up without either the “refund” or the original donation. “My office has warned individual Idahoans for a number of years to be wary of offers to overpay for advertised goods or services,” Wasden said. “More recently, we have received reports of a variation on that theme targeting non-profits that receive donations online.” Wasden today issued a “consumer alert” warning Idaho non-profits about the scam; click below for his full announcement.

ISU students targets of tax prep scam

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) ― A 38-year-old Dallas man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conspired to falsify income tax returns for Idaho State University students. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Moses Mukuka pleaded guilty Wednesday in Pocatello to conspiracy to file false claims for a refund and making a false claim against the United States. Sentencing is set for Feb. 13. Prosecutors alleged Mukuka entered into an agreement with another person to place flyers around the ISU campus advertising himself as an accounting student who would do income tax returns for $10. Mukuka sent the students' paperwork to another individual who submitted returns to the IRS with false information designed to increase the refund. Mukuka distributed a small portion of the refund to the taxpayers and wouldn't provide them with copies of their returns.

Behind-the-times scammers pitch Nigerian letters thru faxes to Idaho

Some scammers who apparently are a bit behind the times are lighting up fax lines in southern Idaho - and elsewhere in the country - with a Nigerian letter scam pitch. “We just have been inundated since 3 p.m.,” said Robb Hicken of the Better Business Bureau in Boise. “Our phone lines are just going off the hook.”

Such scams promise riches if the recipient will just kindly help the desperate sender, usually identified as a relative of an official or member of a royal family, get a large sum of money out of his country to the U.S., for a handsome fee. In reality, victims get nothing except ripped off.

Hicken said such scams most recently have been going out by text; before that, they typically came in spam emails. Before that, faxes were more common, and before that, they arrived in the mail. “We just haven't seen fax scams forever,” he said. “Sounds like somebody bought a whole list of fax numbers.” Best advice for those who receive the pitch: Ignore it. And above all, don't send money or respond with personal information.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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